Birat Anupam

Itahari, July 29 (RSS): In ordinary days, travelers from eastern Terai embark on their journey to Gupha Pokhari of Sankhuwasabha for beautiful views of the Himalayan peaks dancing in the waters of the pond. Guphapokhari would not have received much footfall for Himalayan glance. However, this scene has changed in the last couple of days.

''People from Terai would come for Himalayan views and hilly chill'', said Santosh Limbu, an operator of a tea-house in the Suke Bazaar which is adjacent to Gupha Pokhari. He added, ''Now, they do not have much interest in the Himalayan views of beautiful peaks like Makalu, Kanchenjunga and Kumbhakarna and the likes. They just come here to escape the baking heat in the Terai.'' According to Limbu at a time when no local travelers are on their journey in the Gupha Pokhari area, travelers from eastern Teari's Dharan, Itahari and Biratnagar are coming for chilling weather.

Similar is the tale of Indra Karki, a farm house operator at Mangalbare of Sankhuwasabha district which is just a half-hour drive from Gupha Pokharai. ''I have lived here continuously for around seven years but I would not have seen mach visitors during Ashar and Sawan'', said Karki, ''This scene has changed in the last two years. People are coming  here for good weather specially to evade Terai's scorching sun and to have fun here.''  Just one and half hour ride from Basantapur bazaar of Tehrathum which lies in the mid-hill highway of Nepal, Gupha Pokharai has been connected with good all-weather motorable roads giving rise to all-weather travelers.

''Travelling in this area would be a seasonal specially in times of rhododendron bloom and snowing season'', said Santosh Limbu, ''This has changed and it has been a year-round destination which is good both for traveler and hoteliers.''  There is no governmental statistics on daily arrival. However, local hoteliers and tea-house operators the figure is around 100 per day from both two-wheeler and four-wheeler.

Gupha Pokharai lies at an altitude of 2890 meter, which is higher than that of Lukla (2850 meter).